Tension is one of the chief causes of eye strain, so taking time to relax as well as to exercise your eyes will make an amazing difference. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. When you breathe, take the time to fill the lungs as completely as you can without strain. Try to let each exhalation last nearly as long as the inhalation that preceded it. Think of letting the energy of the breath act as an internal massage throughout the body, particularly in the region of the muscles surrounding the eyes.
- With your eyes closed, lift your fingers to your eyelids and softly, with butterfly-light touch, massage the area of the eye socket up to the eyebrow.
- When the eyes feel relaxed, open them.
- Now slowly slide eyes from left to right back and forth as if reading words on a page or following a tennis match.
- Then change the eye movement to up and down as if watching a ball bounce from floor to ceiling and back. Keep the movement slow.
- Finally roll your eyes around, first several slow counterclockwise circles, then several in a clockwise direction. Keep the head still throughout these exercises, moving only the eyes.
After you have done the above exercises with both eyes simultaneously, rest one eye at a time and let the open eye follow the same routine outlined above. Now lift your fingers again to lightly massage along the eyebrow from the bridge of the nose outward. Let your fingers travel past the eyebrow and gently upward. Repeat this movement several times. If you have time, you may wish to follow the exercises with 5 minutes of covering the eyes either with an eye pillow or with cooled teabags.
These exercises are a marvelous way to relax the eyes, especially if you have eye fatigue from a long stretch of driving or staring at the computer. There are also wonderful herbal teas that support visual health such as eyebright tea. You may wish to purchase one of these at your local health food store, as well as an eye pillow if eye strain is a frequent factor in your life. Foods rich in beta-carotene feed the eyes, so you may also want to increase your intake of carrots and sweet potatoes to keep your eyes healthy. Vitamins A, C, and E are also a great way to keep your eyes looking out for you longer.